Friday, June 20, 2014

God, That's NOT What I Expected?

John 20:
3Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
4At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5He called out,“Fellows,c have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 
7Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. 8The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yardsd from shore. 9When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.

There were two stories about catching an enormous amount of fish mentioned in the Bible. The first was at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  You can read the story in Luke 5.  This miracle occurred just before calling Simon (Peter), James and John to be His disciples. After the catch, Jesus told Simon (Peter) from then on he would catch men.  Simon (Peter), James and John did join forces with Jesus and worked with Him until His death.  
The events in John 20:3-9 (written above) occurred after Jesus had already risen from the dead.  I don’t think the disciples quite knew what to do with themselves after Jesus' death and resurrection, so they did what they knew best – they went fishing.

Even though Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for this season, they were confused and clueless as to what it all meant.  

Jesus needed to meet with the disciples to give them further instructions.  He used this fishing miracle to get the disciples attention to let them know their ministry had not ended but truly had just begun.  

Jesus may have called you to something that did not exactly pan out the way you thought it should either.  When things like that happen, it’s easy to become disillusioned and quit doing what God has asked you to do. 

If the disciples became confused and didn't understand it all, how can we expect to understand everything ourselves.  I've come to learn my thoughts are not always His and my ways are not His ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

God called us to Arizona with a team of people 15 years ago to help start a church.  After a year and a half, the church closed.  We then merged with another fairly new church in the area.    

We could have become discouraged, confused, and maybe even moved back to our East Coast home, but God had a plan all along.

God prepared us, we embraced the new thing He was doing, and we know beyond any doubt, we have been where God has wanted us all these years. 

There are times God may call us to temporary things just to position us for the next thing.  We may have to go to Point A to get to Point B.  It’s just part of the journey. 

If you are disillusioned because something did not happen the way you expected, let me encourage you to do as the disciples did after they reached the shore – talk with the Lord and find out what you are to do next. 

God is always doing new things.  Don’t miss anything He has stored up for you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lord, I'm Waiting.....

Last week I wrote about how I am trying to be more efficient so I can accomplish more in less time.

However, much to my dismay, there are just things that can’t be rushed.  For instance, it takes a certain amount of time for a load of laundry to run.  I can’t shorten the time in grocery or bank lines.  When I go places for appointments, I can’t rush the office staff.  I may have to sit and wait.  

Have you ever gotten a word from God that He is going to do something in your life, and you have waited so long you wonder if it was just your imagination?

Habakkuk 2:2 said, “Then the Lord replied:  ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.  For the revelation awaits an appointed time.  It speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.’”

I have come to realize I cannot rush God any more than I can change physical time each day.   However, I do believe I can lengthen my waiting time by my actions and attitude.

Here are some things to do while waiting:

·               Spend time in the Word daily.  Journal the things God has spoken to you as it suggests in Habakkuk quoted above.

·               Don’t depend on feelings but on God’s Word.  Pray scriptures that pertain to your situation.  Habakkuk 2:2 is one I prayed for a couple of years while I waited for my marriage to be restored. 

·               Learn to worship God even if circumstances are tough.  It may be difficult at first, but I assure you, if you focus on how great our God is instead of what you want Him to do for you, it will lift your mood.  So put some music on and sing your heart out.

·               Do the things you know God has instructed you to do.  For me personally, I believe one day God wants me to write a book.  For now though, He has asked me to do this blog.  It's difficult to be consistent, but I am determined to blog until He says to move on to more.   God will not tell you to do big things until you do the little things first.  

·               Watch your attitude.  A bad attitude is like a rotten apple in a barrel.  It affects all the apples close by.  God did not allow the Israelites to go into the Promised Land for 40 years because of their attitudes and complaining. 

·               Focus on what you must do now and enjoy it.  Life is a journey.  It’s not about one big answer to prayer.   Once you receive that promise from God, it often requires more responsibility and time.  

·               Don’t rush the season you are currently in.   I’ve met with many single women who couldn’t wait to get married and once they did, there were so many adjustments, it wasn’t the bliss they thought it would be.   There are advantages to every season God puts you through.  

God has you where you are today for a reason.  Live life to the fullest instead of looking to the next thing on the horizon you are believing Him for.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Take Time for What?

We all have 24 hours a day.  What do you do with yours? 

I want to know how can I accomplish more in less time. 

There are certain things I feel God has called me to do; however, to accomplish it, I have to learn to be more efficient.   

Yes, He will give me help, but I realize He has given me tools for success – a nice home, a great office, room to organize, a phone, a car, a computer.  I just have to establish routines to get things done.

I am trying weekly to add one thing at a time so I can eventually be different.  I found a quote one time that said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”   

Here are some things I’m learning:

·               Never miss time alone with God each day.  If I don’t have His perception, everything else will be off.

·               Exercise daily.  It doesn’t have to be much, but do something.  I found walking with a friend keeps me accountable.  

·               Make a list daily.  If there are errands on it, put them in order of their location to accomplish more in less time.

·               When making meals, if possible, make more than one.  Freeze the other for times when cooking is not possible.  

·               Have a place for everything and keep it in its place.  Easier said than done.

·               When bringing new things in the house, also get rid of other things.   Let me be honest here, this one I really need to practice more often. 

·               When my kids were younger, we had a color-coordinated calendar with all the activities so we could keep up with each other’s schedules on the frig.  Now Jerry and I have smart phones with calendars that sync together so we are both informed.  

·               Take time for fun -- whatever that looks like for you.  For me I like shopping or reading.  It refreshes me and gives me the energy I need for my other activity.
Over time, I have learned baby steps are required for permanent change.  If I try to change everything at once, I might start out strong, but eventually fizzle out.   So today let me encourage you to find one thing you can change today and keep it up for a week before adding something else to it.